The Kennel Club offers guaranteed championship shows for 10 years as incentive for clubs to amalgamate

As part of its continued effort to encourage dog showing in the UK, The Kennel Club has issued an offer of a guaranteed Championship show for a period of at least 10 years, as an incentive for breed clubs to amalgamate where appropriate for the breed.

Following the success of the amalgamation of several Pekingese breed clubs, as well as clubs in other breeds, The Kennel Club wishes to encourage further breed clubs to consider joining forces. Those that do so will secure guaranteed Challenge Certificates (CCs) at their shows from 2022 for 10 years.

The allocation of CCs within a number of breeds is affected by a complex rotation system among breed clubs. These rotations were introduced some years ago to mitigate against having to withdraw Championship show status from any one particular breed club permanently.

Some rotations can be complex due to the number of clubs and the number of available sets of CCs, requiring in some cases two, three or four year gaps between Championship shows. However, if breed clubs now successfully amalgamate, the newly registered clubs will be allocated a set of CCs on an annual basis.

It is an unfortunate fact that the number of people exhibiting in some breeds was in decline even before the Covid-19 pandemic. A number of breeds have a high number of clubs, which reflected their popularity several decades ago, but sadly no more. The cost to maintain shows, along with running the societies, continues to rise. Similarly, the number of volunteers willing to be officers and committee members of dog clubs has also diminished in recent years.

The Kennel Club understands that some long established clubs might be very reluctant to consider amalgamation due to their long histories, but an amalgamation will help preserve the club’s heritage instead of the club risking future de-registration if their breed numbers continue to decline.

The Pekingese breed led the way in 2015 when twelve clubs amalgamated to form six new clubs. Although the issue of amalgamation was, initially, met with a great deal of reluctance, those forward thinking clubs which amalgamated have seen the newly formed societies thrive in the years since.

Liz Stannard, The Kennel Club Board Member and well-known Pekingese breeder, said: “I will not pretend that getting started on the amalgamation process was an easy task for the Pekingese clubs. However, in the end we had to accept that we simply had too many clubs for the breed and once a few of the clubs amalgamated and received their guaranteed championship status, a number of other clubs followed suit.

“This just goes to prove what can be achieved when breed clubs work together. Those clubs which have amalgamated have seen the benefits that such a move brings to their members as well as to the breed as a whole. Yes, we now have fewer breed clubs but they are holding prestigious, well attended shows, as well as judge education seminars, on a much more regular basis than in the period leading up to amalgamation, which can only be good news for the breed as well as for the future of the dog world in general.”

Kathryn Mansfield, The Kennel Club Secretary, said: “The Pekingese community was rightly commended for its pragmatism, common sense and forward thinking in difficult times when they opted to amalgamate many of their breed clubs, and likewise the clubs in other breeds which followed suit. We hope that this sets an example of what can be achieved when breeds come together in this way.

"We now hope that other clubs, including those with complex rotations, will recognise the benefits and grasp this offer and choose to apply. We are keen to work together with those clubs which are considering amalgamation and we lend our full support to those that do, not least through the offer of guaranteed Championship status for at least 10 years.

“This is an important development for the future of dog showing and we hope that it will have a positive impact on the sport, its exhibitors and show societies."

For further information regarding the amalgamation process, please contact the Societies and Show Services department at The Kennel Club on 01296 318540 or via email.